Through a Cable, Darkly

Craig LennoxFounding Editor

In the mod­ern age, ev­ery­thing we knew about cur­rent events came to us through the news me­dia. It was our win­dow over­look­ing the world, or so we be­lieved, hav­ing no oth­er for com­par­i­son. The on­ly way to eval­u­ate news me­dia bias was with re­spect to oth­er news me­dia. Hence, even our no­tion of ob­jec­tiv­i­ty was an il­lu­sion.

The last­ing ef­fect of the vir­tu­al rev­o­lu­tion has been to de­stroy the myth of ob­jec­tiv­i­ty. Our win­dow has be­come a mir­ror, but the news me­dia are now with­in it, per­ceived by it, re­flect­ing back up­on them­selves in in­fi­nite regress.

We our­selves are al­so with­in the frame. In the mod­ern age, the news me­dia "brought you the news" as if the view­er were in a bub­ble out­side his­to­ry. The news was the news of the oth­er, and in that sense, was in­ven­tion; our news to­day is no less in­vent­ed, but we now de­mand our role, how­ev­er triv­ial; the ex­pe­ri­ence of the news has be­come the news it­self, and we cry foul when it fails to live up to our ex­pec­ta­tions.

Shat­ter­ing a mir­ror on­ly cre­ates a mul­ti­tude of mir­rors.